Tips for Running a Successful Corporate Wellness Program
Running a successful corporate wellness program could benefit your club in more ways than one. Chez Misko, the COO at Wisconsin Athletic Club (WAC), found that some of those benefits are: an additional stream of revenue, community relationships, marketing, advertising and a reduce in payroll costs. But, for Misko, the benefits go beyond the club.
“One other benefit is that we’re able to help companies really impact their health and wellness, and that’s an overlying benefit aside from the economic benefits,” added Misko.
To get those benefits, you have to be able to sell your club, which Misko says is a part of the unique skillset he looks for when looking for someone to lead the corporate wellness program: the ability to sell, and a background in understanding fitness programming.
“Every business may look at this a little differently, but in a perfect world, we look for someone who has the ability to know how to sell,” said Misko. “We kind of break it up into two parts: we have someone who sells the programs, and someone who services the programs.”
Along with that unique skillset, Misko said it’s important for anyone who is selling a corporate wellness program to know how to “speak the language.”
“A lot of times you’re meeting with HR people, so you have to talk about how you can make it economically feasible for them to spend the money,” explained Misko. “They kind of have to have an understanding of HR and insurance benefits.”
When selling a corporate wellness program, Misko said while some companies come onboard right away, it has provied in the past to be difficult for some companies to spend money on something that would be perceived as a benefit, rather than a necessity.
“But, when we are able to show the benefit to them of having their employees healthier and more productive, and the return from an insurance standpoint, then people are interested. So, you have to speak the language, you have to know about insurance and lives and reimbursement,” said Misko.
While WAC has some prepackaged programs that they offer, they try to sit down with the leaders of the companies to craft the perfect program that works best for them. “Because what one company wants and what another company wants can be vastly different,” said Misko. “So, we try to be flexible with the program offering — some want an hour a month with fitness classes, some want 50 hours a week with programming. So, you have to figure out how to work with the decision makers and be flexible. A lot of companies start out with a few hours a week, see the benefits, then continue to grow.”
As far as attracting clients, Misko says: Do a good job operating your business, because then customers come to you.
“For us, personally, we got into this business because we had these companies asking us if we could do what we do in our clubs for them,” he added. “We’ve done a lot with referrals in our market — they’ve seen what we’ve done with other companies, and they’ve come to us and we’ve gotten good results for a variety of companies. And that brings people that way. So, basically, do a good job and the business follows.”